University of Birmingham to establish the first UNESCO Chair in Water Science

The University of Birmingham has been invited by UNESCO’s Director General to join its prestigious global universities network and establish the first ever UNESCO Chair in Water Science.

Through the accolade – that has been awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) with the full support of the UK National Commission for UNESCO – the University of Birmingham will facilitate inter-disciplinary research, education and awareness raising to tackle water scarcity around the world.

The University’s Professor of Hydrology, David Hannah, will coordinate the activities as the UNESCO Chairholder.

Professor David Hannah said:

“Through the UNESCO Chair, we want to understand patterns and causes of water resource availability to help reduce uncertainty and make better projections of what is likely to happen in the future and for data sparse environments.  We also want to see how we can make better use of new technologies and citizen science in hydrology, using local people as observers, to raise awareness of water issues”.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO, which is the central hub for UNESCO-related matters in the UK, supported Professor David Hannah through the rigorous application process to establish the UNESCO Chair. The UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Higher Education Director, Professor Kiran Fernandes, said of the announcement:

“Water scarcity has been a source of conflict in the past and by facilitating sustainable approaches to reducing this risk, the new UNESCO Chair is clearly helping to further UNESCO’s global mandate for peace.

In being invited to establish a UNESCO Chair, the University of Birmingham is taking its rightful place within a dynamic, global network of universities which have been formally honoured by UNESCO for high-quality research that is working to further UNESCO’s goal to build peace, security and sustainable development through international collaboration in education, science, culture, communication and information”.